Ed Hawkins previews the first of three T20s with rain likely to offer a betting chance in Hamilton on Sunday morning...
"With moisture in the air and off the pitch, New Zealand might not be able to dominate. A different story, though, if they bowled first."
New Zealand v Bangladesh
Sunday 28 March, 02:00
TV: live on BT Sport
No Williamson again
After a sweep of the ODI series, New Zealand will expect to inflict another to-nil defeat on Bangladesh. But they will have to do it - again - without skipper Kane Williamson.
Tim Southee leads instead a unit which has also been deprived Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson. Instead Adam Mile, Hamish Bennett and the returning Lockie Ferguson will form the pace attack.
There's nowt wrong with the hitting ability. Martin Guptill and Devon Conway, fresh from his maiden ODI ton in Wellington, are expected to open. They probably lack lower-order power but the Kiwis are not expecting to be that troubled by Bangladesh.
Possible XI Possible XI Guptill, Conway, Young, Phillips, Chapman, Mitchell, Astle, Ferguson, Milne, Sodhi, Bennett
After their third defeat in the ODI series Tamim Iqbal said Bangladesh were "going nowhere". He's not wrong. More than 20 years after leaving the associates behind they are still performing like one. Progress has been limited.
Any hope of a consistent uptick in fortunes with a format change over the series seems forlorn. They have not beaten New Zealand in seven attempts and against the established nations they have a win rate on a par with a 4/1 chance.
Mahmudullah and Mohammad Mithun were strong with the bat in the ODI series but they got little support. Soumya Sarkar should be dropped for this one while Tamim is likely to be able to bat with more freedom. There is, alas, no Shakib-al-Hasan to bridge the talent gulf.
Possible XI Tamim, Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Mithun, Mahedi Hasan, Afif Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Hasan Mahmud
There have been five T20 internationals at Seddon Park since 2016. More than 160 was busted in each of the first-innings and the average score was 183. The chaser won two with one tie but there is strong evidence that the wicket holds true. Domestically, batting has not been so easy. In five non-rain affected matches, more than 160 was busted once and the team batting first struggled. The scores read 108-162-118-124-117. Bangladesh batters will be alarmed at such a sequence, suggesting the sort of seaming and swinging conditions they loathe. But not their bowlers. Mustifizur Rahman and Mohammad Saifuddin could be bang in the game.
Bangladesh need to bowl first
The weather forecast is poor for Hamilton on match day. With a reduced-overs affair likely and the pitch potentially tricky, there is optimism that a shortened contest could also reduce the gulf.
Currently, New Zealand are 1.222/9 while Bangladesh have just about crept into value territory (remember their record against the top teams) at 5.104/1. If they bowl first, there could be room in that price for a trade. With moisture in the air and off the pitch, New Zealand might not be able to dominate. A different story, though, if they bowled first.
We are hoping that Sportsbook miss Conway's promotion to open but don't hold your breath. We would love 3/1. The weather forecast is also likely to shorten up opening batsmen prohibitively. Guptill, unlikely to be better than 13/5, has a strong record at the venue averaging 52 at a strike rate of 132.
For Bangladesh we were quite keen on Mushfiqur giving us an edge on top bat but we need 4/1 minimum. And besides, if there is rain around and it's a ten-over slog he might not get in considering his role in the middle-order engine room. As for wicket, Mustafizur might also provide an edge but we need a touch bigger than the probable 11/4 to get involved.
India v England ODI series analysis on Cricket...Only Bettor
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l & COB Best Bets year end